Should I File a New 2018 W-4 Form?

October 03, 2018 : Mike Slack

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 12, 2018. 

As part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, the IRS provided new withholding guidance and an updated 2018 Form W-4. While new withholding tables released earlier in the year were designed to work with existing W-4 forms, you may find that the changes resulted in you receiving a larger paycheck, potentially reducing the amount of your refund.

Given these changes in 2018, you may want to take control and check out the updated W-4 form. That way you can adjust withholding to maximize your money and with the goal of either a larger refund at tax-time or more dollars throughout the year for expenses.

2018 W-4 Tax Form Considerations: Why You Might Want to Update

The primary reason updating your W-4 for 2018 is a good idea is that the Tax Cut & Jobs Act eliminated the deduction for personal exemptions for individuals, their spouses, and their dependents, and the new 2018 Form W-4 reflects those changes. The old version of the Form W-4 calculated the amount of tax required to be withheld from wages based on the number of withholding exemptions reported on the form. Therefore, an individual with an older version of Form W-4 on file with their employer could face adverse consequences.

Who Is Advised to File a New W-4 for 2018?

There are still several situations where filing the new 2018 W-4 tax form with your employer is advisable for this year:

  • Families with more than one earner.
  • People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year.
  • People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
  • People with older dependents, including children age 17 or older.
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017.
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.

Of course, it is always good advice to check your withholding at least once a year or whenever your personal circumstances change.

Wondering If You Should Complete a New W-4 Form?

Our knowledgeable Tax Pros can help you review your situation and help answer your withholding and Form W-4 questions for 2018. Visit your local Tax Pro for more information.

There are still several situations where filing the new 2018 W-4 tax form with your employer is advisable for this year:

  • Families with more than one earner.
  • People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year.
  • People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
  • People with older dependents, including children age 17 or older.
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017.
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.

Of course, it is always good advice to check your withholding at least once a year or whenever your personal circumstances change.

Questions? Comments? Visit your local Tax Pro for more information or visit www.irs.gov.

Related Topics

Related Resources

Taxes, Basketball, And Bracketology | 2017 Tax Brackets

What do 2017 federal tax brackets and March Madness have in common? The Tax Institute Director Gil Charney weighs-in. Read more from H&R Block.

IRS Letter 2904 – Request for Information

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is requesting information from you. Learn more about IRS letter 2904 from the tax experts at H&R Block.

How Form 1098-C Applies to Your Vehicle Donation Deduction

Donating a qualified vehicle to a charity? Learn how Form 1098-C is used to report the details of your donation and how it affects your deduction.

IRS Letter 3666C – Unprocessable/Transferred Claim Letter

Learn more about IRS Letter 3666C, why you received the letter, and what it means for you with help from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Mike Slack

Mike Slack

The Tax Institute, H&R Block

Mike Slack, JD, EA, is a senior tax research analyst at The Tax Institute. Mike leads research teams focused on business and investment tax issues.